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Organizers set dates for 2015 Providence Boat Show

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association scheduled the 2015 Providence Boat Show for Jan. 23-25.

Organizers said the show, one of the largest winter indoor boat shows in New England, will feature expanded hours and will build on the success of the 2014 event with highlights that include hands-on seminars, a special Volvo Ocean Race feature and activities for youth and aspiring boaters.

RIMTA purchased the show in 2013 and set out to transform the event with new attractions. The January 2014 show achieved a 21 percent increase in ticket sales, a 16 percent rise in space sales and solid sales for exhibitors, many of whom reported stronger sales than in previous years. Eighty percent of the attendees were current boat owners, and 55 percent have plans to buy a boat in the next two to three years.

“The 2014 show was a great start, and we established a successful boat show model that drew the right consumers and generated strong business for our exhibitors,” show director Jonathan Banks said in a statement. “With such a high percentage of attendees looking to purchase a boat in the next two to three years, our focus is to create a show that truly motivates consumers to take the next step.”

Based on exhibitor feedback, organizers have kept the show to three days, but have expanded its hours. The show returns to the Rhode Island Convention Center on Jan. 23 (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Jan. 24 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), and Jan. 25 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

The show will be held a week earlier in 2015 so it does not conflict with Super Bowl weekend.

Organizers said the Volvo Ocean Race’s participation at the show will draw a wide range of boating enthusiasts and will showcase the Ocean State as the only U.S. stopover on the 11-port race. The Volvo Ocean Race starts in October from Alicante, Spain, and will stop over in Newport, R.I., in May 2015.

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